Which One To Choose? Difference Between Hardwood Vs Softwood
Most people might already be familiar that there are two types of woods, hardwood and softwood. Hardwood has been quite popular and the preferred wood but lately softwood has become more popular due to its low pricing and availability. Now with this confusion, you must be thinking which wood should you select for your project? Consider the below differences between hardwood and softwood to choose the right wood for your work:
- Hardwood vs Softwood- When you compare the two, hardwood is much denser and stronger than softwood. Compared to softwood, hardwood is said to retain its shape under heavy pressure, and can also handle more stress before it breaks or bends. Hardwood trees are more common globally than softwood trees but also have slow growth. Softwood is not a weak wood but also not as strong and resilient as hardwood. Even though softwood trees are not very common but they still make up around 80% of the world’s timber and can also be replaced easily. Softwood is much easier to work with and can easily be cut by saws than hardwood.
- Cost and Availability- As mentioned earlier, even though hardwood trees are more in availability, they take more time to grow and also cannot be replaced as easily as softwood trees. This makes hardwood costlier and expensive than softwood. Even though the lumber market fluctuates regularly, it will always be more costly than softwood. Hardwood is also heavier and costlier to transport.
- Weight capacity and Pallet Usage- Hardwood is much denser, making it stronger and durable than softwood. But even if softwood is light and has lower weight for pallet capacity, it can still hold up to thousands of pounds when built into a pallet. Most applications use softwood pallets unless they need to be used in high weight or special cases that require Hardwood cut stock in their projects.
- Durability and Repairability- Softwood lumber can easily be cut and repaired. Due to the ease of repair and affordability, most recycled pallets are softwood. However, hardwood pallets are less repaired due to their high durability. Hardwoods do not require much repairing and are rarely affected by any outside element. Hardwood is more ideal for closed-loop supply chains and used in projects where it will be reused.
With the given differences, you can easily choose if you want to use hardwood or softwood for your project.